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Old 01-31-11, 04:09 PM   #1
Philly Tandem
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Suggestions wanted for late April family bike tour in USA

Looking for suggestions for a warm location with generally flat terrain for a tour at the end of April. My wife and I are thinking of taking our six-year-old son on his first "real" bike tour the week before Easter. We'll be riding our three seater (triplet) bike and credit-card touring, self-supported. 30-35 miles per day is realistic for us with him on the bike, so a tour of between 150-200 miles sounds about right.

I'd appreciate advice from those of you familiar with riding in southern or SW states and perhaps the Southern Tier ACA route as to what might work well for us. I'm also thinking about riding the GAP trail, which would be perfect from a logistics and terrain standpoint, but am worried that late-April weather can be a bit iffy in that area.

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-11, 04:30 PM   #2
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Southern Utah and northern Utah!!!! That's my favorite place in the whole wide world to tour and it's fabulous for kids. The rock formations are terrific and you'll be able to spend hours crawling around on them.

Another area that we particularly enjoyed was Joshua National Park and Anza Borrego State Park - beautiful and great fun for the kids.

And YIPPEE!!!! An other family on two wheels!! We spent a year cycling around the USA and Mexico with our 8-year-old twins on a triple back in 2006/07. It was a fabulous experience!!
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Old 01-31-11, 09:14 PM   #3
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Nancy are you folks gonna make your March completion date?
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Old 02-01-11, 09:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
Looking for suggestions for a warm location with generally flat terrain for a tour at the end of April. My wife and I are thinking of taking our six-year-old son on his first "real" bike tour the week before Easter. We'll be riding our three seater (triplet) bike and credit-card touring, self-supported. 30-35 miles per day is realistic for us with him on the bike, so a tour of between 150-200 miles sounds about right.

I'd appreciate advice from those of you familiar with riding in southern or SW states and perhaps the Southern Tier ACA route as to what might work well for us. I'm also thinking about riding the GAP trail, which would be perfect from a logistics and terrain standpoint, but am worried that late-April weather can be a bit iffy in that area.

Thanks!
I was pleasantly surprised by Southern Arkansas last spring. Nice roads with very good shoulders. The weather was mild for the most part. It got muggy when a storm front was moving through but out of 2 weeks of riding, I only had to endure high humidity 2 or 3 times. Look here for the route I rode. I had originally planned on going into Texas (Atlanta) and to Shreiveport, Louisiana but couldn't because of mechanical problems. If you cut out the ride up to Queen Wilhemina Park, the route is hilly but not impossibly hilly.

You should, however, consider something that would contain points of interest for a 6 year old. My route is nice for the views and for an adult but for a child it would probably be tedious. From Richmond, VA to Yorktown and Jamestown might be a good choice. Williamsburg is fun, especially if you get to witness the militia shooting off cannons.
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Old 02-01-11, 10:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
Southern Utah and northern Utah!!!! That's my favorite place in the whole wide world to tour and it's fabulous for kids. The rock formations are terrific and you'll be able to spend hours crawling around on them.

Another area that we particularly enjoyed was Joshua National Park and Anza Borrego State Park - beautiful and great fun for the kids.
Thanks Nancy! Would Utah be warm enough in late April? Seems likely to be cold.
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Old 02-01-11, 10:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions so far! Please keep them coming. Also, I neglected to mention that we are experienced with touring, both on our tandem before our son was born and me on my single bike. This would be the first on our triplet, though.
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Old 02-01-11, 10:57 AM   #7
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You might want to consider riding part of the Natchez Trace. Low traffic in most parts of it, and the southern end of it is not too hilly. You do need to exit the trace, though, to find meals and lodging.
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Old 02-01-11, 11:04 AM   #8
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Southern Utah is hardly "generally flat", one of your stated requirements. I biked in SW Utah in mid-May. The temperature varied according to altitude, and the altitude varied enormously, from 2,800 ft in St. George (95 F), to 10,000 at Cedar Breaks (32 F & snowing). It was a great region to ride in, however.
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Old 02-02-11, 08:20 AM   #9
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If you can swing the trip in early April, Cycle North Carolina would be a great option. The CNC Spring Ride is over a 3-day weekend, April 8-10, with loop rides of various distances leaving from Oriental, NC. I have ridden the CNC spring ride the past three years, and it's a great event. Weather is generally very mild altho windy, and the roads are very scenic and relatively low traffic in Coastal NC. Oriental is a nice little coastal village that is a big sailing center.

http://www.ncsports.org/nccyclemain.php
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Old 02-02-11, 11:23 AM   #10
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That might be a good time for riding in Southern Arizona. You might consider fashioning a tour around the general area of Tucson (Casa Grande, Green Valley, Tombstone, Sierra Vista, etc.). There is a good amount of terrain around there that is relatively flat or with mild gradients. There's some pretty steep stuff too but it's avoidable.
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Old 02-03-11, 07:37 AM   #11
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Thanks all, for the good suggestions so far. Places we were considering were southern Arizona, as simplygib suggested, parts of Texas, and Louisiana/Mississippi. I've been reading some Southern Tier journals on CGOAB and some of the routes in those states seem like they might work. My original thought was Florida, but I've read a lot of bad things about the roads and drivers there. I wouldn't mind it so much by myself on my single bike, but with the whole family along want to be a little more careful.

We're stuck on the last weekend in April dates, as my son has spring break from school then.
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